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Ugh, You Really Don’t Get It

May 3rd, 2005 Posted in Uncategorized

Good lord, this is frustrating. When I see the kind of pure divisive malarkey John Tierney is peddling in the NYT today it just makes me want to bash my head against a wall. Ok, one more time, step by step, for the cheap seats.

Mrs. Bush’s performance, and her husband’s reaction, wasn’t a shock to the reporters who cover the White House. For years they have tried to convince their friends outside Washington that Mr. Bush is actually not a close-minded dolt, and Mrs. Bush is no Stepford Wife or Church Lady. Yes, they’re Texans who go to church and preach family values, but they’re not yahoos or religious zealots.

The coverage of Mrs. Bush’s comic debut may change some minds, but for devout Bush-bashers, it’s much easier to stay the course. If you live in a blue-state stronghold, a coastal city where you can go 24 hours without meeting any Republicans, it’s consoling to think of the red staters as an alien bunch of strait-laced Bible thumpers.

Oh, I’m quite aware that Bush is no dolt, Mr. Tierney. You, on the other hand, are a different story.

You won’t find me complaining that Laura likes horse cock jokes. It’s something we can finally agree on; I mean, hey, horse cocks are funny. And I’m only a little bit shocked that conservatives, (who are so concerned with the moral decay in this country [caused by us progressives, of course]) think they’re funny too. Next you’ll tell me they’ve changed their stance on Jackson boobies. Ah, one can only dream.

You’re right, it is easier for myself, a self-proclaimed Bush-basher, to stay the course. But I’m pretty sure it has less to do with his wife’s comedic abilites than with his horrific social, economic, and foreign policies. Then again, she was pretty funny. Maybe I should change my mind about abortion, school prayer, the iraq war, social security, health care, education, gun control, the environment, and pretty much every other issue; Laura did make me chuckle.

And let me say this one more friggin’ time: I don’t think of red-staters as alien, straight laced bible thumpers. I do however, think that a very small and vocal minority on the right fits that description, and unfortunately, they are becoming more and more active in the American government. Perhaps it’s time you acknowledged their presence and disowned them instead of us. I mean, at least we have that horse-cock thing in common.

The favorite Democratic explanation is that the red staters are hicks who have been blinded by righteousness, as Thomas Frank argues in "What’s the Matter With Kansas?" He laments that middle-class Kansans are so bamboozled by moral issues like abortion and school prayer that they vote for Republicans even though the Republican tax-cutting policies are against their self-interest.

But middle-class Americans don’t simply cast ballots for Republicans. They also vote with their feet, which is why blue states and old Democratic cities are losing population to red states and Republican exurbs. People are moving there precisely because of economic reasons – more jobs, affordable houses and the lower taxes offered by Republican politicians.

Umm, have you actually *read* What’s the Matter With Kansas? Because I have, and that’s not what Thomas Frank argues at all. He does at one point argue that conservative pundits consistently try to paint liberals as elitist and out of the mainstream with regard to social issues and then use those social wedge issues to get people to vote against their own economic self-interest. Sound familiar?

Oh, and much of the book is dedicated to his personal account of the complete economic devastation Kansas is currently experiencing due to the “lower taxes” of which you speak. Yeah, you forgot to mention that those lower taxes are for corporations such as Westar, Aquila, and Sprint; remember when all those companies laid thousands of people off and still paid their CEOs millions in severance packages? Ah, those were good times for every working man. If people are moving out to the red states (I don’t know what statistics you are quoting here), it’s because the economy sucks, you cut their welfare, education, and health care, and they can no longer afford to live in the cities.

They’re not moving for the churches, and they don’t vote for Mr. Bush simply because he reads the Bible every day. One of the main reasons they like him is that he gets bashed so often. When Jon Stewart sneers at him, they empathize because they’re used to being sneered at themselves.

Why is it you think John Stewart is sneering at the president? Because he’s a hick? News flash, you fucking moron: there hasn’t been a northerner *Democratic* president for 42 years. We hate Bush because his policies are not in line with our political opinions, not because he’s a hick. Stop telling everyone that we’re elitist just because we disagree with your views. And he’s not even a real hick anyways; he went to Yale, for christ’s sake.

They know what their image is in Manhattan and Hollywood, and they know they’re not all that different from the Democrats in those places. They, too, watch “Desperate Housewives,” and they’re not surprised to hear Laura Bush doing Chippendales jokes. They’ve spent their own dollar bills there. They don’t see anything the matter with that – or with themselves.

Oh, oh, we’re not that different? Really? Hmm, that kinda sounds like what I’VE BEEN SHOUTING FROM THE ROOFTOPS FOR THE LAST 5 YEARS. Oh, and one more thing. The next time you plan to accuse me of turning up my nose at middle america, could you please remind yourself just who owns Manhattan and Hollywood? Cause last time I checked, Republicans seem to be the ones running things these days.

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